Jays to retire Hall of Famer Alomar's number

Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:44pm EDT
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By Frank Pingue

TORONTO (Reuters) - Roberto Alomar, the unproven name in a trade that transformed Toronto in to back-to-back World Series champions, has become the first Blue Jay to have his number retired.

Alomar, the only player of that key trade that entered the Hall of Fame, is assured that no other member of the organization will wear his number 12 again, the Major League Baseball team said on Tuesday.

"When I came here for the first time it was one of the biggest trades in Blue Jays history and I don't think anybody knew about Robbie Alomar," the former second baseman, who will have his number retired on July 31, told reporters.

"The first person I called was my dad for some advice because I was going to a different country, I never played in the American League and I was being traded ... for players who had accomplished so much for the organization."

The Puerto-Rican born Alomar came to Toronto in a trade with San Diego. The Blue Jays also got Joe Carter in exchange for fan favorites Tony Fernandez and Fred McGriff.

Alomar spent his first three seasons with San Diego but it was in Toronto where he blossomed, earning All-Star honors and Gold Glove awards for fielding excellence in each of his five years with the club.

His .307 batting average with Toronto remains the highest recorded by a Blue Jay among players with a minimum 2,000 plate appearances. He also ranks second in stolen bases (206) and fifth in triples (36).

But it was in the post-season, where Alomar helped the Blue Jays win World Series titles in 1992 and 1993, that he put up some of his best numbers.   Continued...

<p>Former Blue Jays player Roberto Alomar smiles as he speaks to the media after announcement of his induction into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, at Rogers Centre in Toronto January 5, 2011. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill</p>